By Marion V. Ali
Soon after it was established that the newly-elected president of Guatemala is Jimmy Morales – a man who has publicly advocated that his country should seek to reclaim Belize – Prime Minister Dean Barrow, approaching the end of his term, sounded a clear warning for his Guatemalan counterpart to “back off”.
Barrow told reporters this week that while congratulations are in order for Morales and that he (Barrow) has prepared a congratulatory letter to send to him, as a matter of courtesy and also on the basis of our two countries being neighbours, his government, if re-elected would not stand down from its position of keeping Belize’s borders in tact.
Barrow said it was notable that Morales, whom he described as a political novice, will learn that the kind of talk that we heard from him over Belize’s sovereignty, prior to his election, is unacceptable.
“Belize rejects that in its totality and if, as I believe will be the case, those around Mr Morales will make clear to him that to proceed in good neighbourliness with Belize, to proceed on the basis of respecting Belize’s territorial integrity is the only way to go. The sooner President-elect Morales realises that, the better we will all be”, Barrow said.
Barrow also sent a clear warning to the newly-elected president, that while we want our two countries to live in peace, and to settle our territorial problem peacefully, we want to do so by diplomatic means.
“We will not be bullied, and Mr Morales needs to learn that right quick. Belize will not be bullied!”